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Are You Future-Ready? Learn How to Get There at This PICPA Event

For the generations that have provided free technical support to grandparents everywhere since the ’80s and ’90s, it can be difficult to admit that the rapid pace of technological innovation is intimidating at times. There’s no denying things are changing fast. While business writers push endless streams of science fiction about robots taking jobs, technology […]

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Friday Footnotes: Which Firm Puts in the Most Hours?; Clients Pay for the Talent War; Spotting Burnout | 5.20.22

Boring No More: Accountants, Auditors See Themselves as Creative, Curious and Adventurous, Study Shows [PR Newswire] Creative, curious and adventurous may not be traits normally associated with accountants and auditors, but a recent study shows that’s just how a growing number of industry professionals see themselves. The research – conducted by leading software provider Caseware […]

Smug Smirking Douchebag Leaves Federal Prison Early

Insufferable former Citrin Cooperman client Martin Shkreli is no longer behind bars. From the Wall Street Journal: Martin Shkreli, the so-called “pharma bro” who was widely criticized for raising the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug, has been released from federal prison. Mr. Shkreli departed the Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood Low on Wednesday, according to […]

The PCAOB Ain’t Messing Around No More

After getting rid of the boil on its butt (that boil being ex-chairman William Duhnke) last June, the PCAOB seems to be feeling pretty good now under the leadership of Erica Williams. And that’s bad news for audit firms. The PCAOB has created new ways of disciplining audit firms and auditors who bend the rules, […]

Guy Compares the IRS to Barnes & Noble

“The IRS destroying data for an estimated 30 million filers in March 2021 is appalling. This will create massive chaos for taxpayers in terms of filing time and refunds. The fact that the IRS is a business that operates in the dark ages in terms of technology further compounds the taxpayer’s burden. They act like […]

Former Deloitte CEO Is a Big Fan of ‘Smors’

No, Cathy Engelbert isn’t talking about the delicious summertime treat. She’s talking about “small moments of recovery.” “I learned this at Deloitte because when you’re running a firm of that size, you have to find time. We dubbed them smors. My EA used to put them on my calendar: Small moments of recovery. You need moments during […]

6 Rules of Audit Room Etiquette

As workers return to the office, many auditors find themselves visiting client sites for the first time. Given the two-year in-person hiatus we’ve all just been through, even first-year seniors don’t know how to approach audit room protocols. So here are some key rules you should follow in the audit room whenever you do go […]

What a Sh*tty Way to Find Out You’ve Been Laid Off

Getting laid off sucks. It has happened to me twice in the past 23 years. I’ve also been fired once for poor performance, but unlike the two times I was laid off, I knew exactly when I was being fired. I hated my job, I hated my boss (I was her only employee and she […]

Accountants Didn’t Wind Up In Court As Often In 2021

While there were plenty of accountants who behaved badly in 2021, the accounting profession as a whole was fairly well-behaved and competent last year, according to a new report from Cornerstone Research. Good job, everyone. From the report, Accounting Class Action Filings and Settlements – 2021 Review and Analysis: Reversing a three year trend, the […]

Things Are Getting Spicy Between PwC UK Employees and Lord Sugar

After being called “lazy gits” in a tweet last Friday by British businessman, entrepreneur, and TV show host Lord Alan Sugar, who reacted negatively to PwC UK announcing that it would allow employees to take Friday afternoons off from June to the end of August, we were curious to see if any PwCers across the […]

Compensation Watch ’22: Big 4 Firm With the Most Negative Publicity In the U.K. Tries to Change All That By Giving Staff Raises of At Least £2,000

If you’re a regular visitor to this website, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which Big 4 firm we’re referring to: Carillion, loads of fines from the Financial Reporting Council, chairman’s rant leads to his resignation, Carillion, “unacceptable” bank audits, partners who are bullies, lawsuits, and layoffs. And did we mention Carillion? Yes, […]

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Friday Footnotes: Firms on India Hiring Spree; PCAOB Heads Overseas; PwC Lets You See Your Family This Summer | 5.6.22

Mesa grandma, 25-year-old accountant share love of Phoenix Suns [Arizona’s Family] JoAnne Ralph and Ben Barchilon have a special bond, and it all started with their love of the Phoenix Suns. “It’s just wonderful to have another grandson,” said Ralph. “It upsets my granddaughter because she says ‘I’m not sharing you!’ And I said, yes […]

In the Trenches: My Three Least Favorite Audit Rooms

Audit rooms come in all shapes and sizes—usually small, often windowless, sometimes with chairs you can actually sit on, and almost always as far away from the finance/accounting department as possible. After eight years in public accounting, I have loads of unforgettable audit room experiences. Here are just a few. The hostile work environment This […]

CPAs: Make Direct Indexing Your Estate Planning Secret Weapon

Traditionally, the role of accounting professionals in estate planning has been tertiary at best, with clients consulting CPAs only on the tax implications of select decisions—or simply leaving them out of the process altogether.  As you’re certainly sick of hearing by now, however, today’s most successful CPAs are taking on more advisory functions, with one […]

Are Auditors Becoming as Hard to Find as a PS5?

Alternate title: If You Are an Accounting Student, Expect to End Up In Audit When You Graduate Ever since early 2020 we have been forced to learn how to go without, not always an easy task in our always-connected, on-demand, two-day-delivery world. I don’t know about you but if I have to wait longer than […]

Marcum Gives Employees the ‘Gift’ of Summer Hours on Fridays

During a town hall meeting on Tuesday in which the marriage between Marcum and Friedman was confirmed internally before the official press release was slapped on Marcum’s website in the afternoon, Marcum Chairman and CEO Jeff Weiner announced that it’s almost time for all those busy season morale-boosting pizza parties to be replaced by new […]

Rumor Mill: Two Top 35 Accounting Firms (One In the Top 15) Are In Merger Talks (UPDATE: Friedman and Marcum Merger Official)

[UPDATE on May 3] The news we broke last week (scroll down) came to fruition today, as the merger between Friedman and Marcum is now official. Here is the press release from Marcum: Leading national accounting and advisory firms Marcum LLP (“Marcum”) and Friedman LLP (“Friedman”) today announced that they are in advanced discussions related to a […]

In KPMG Australia Cheating Scandal, Apparently Cheaters *Do* Win

From Australian Financial Review: Chartered Accountants ANZ has belatedly ruled that only 12 of the 422 members from big four consulting firm KPMG who took part in systemic exam cheating will be put through the professional body’s individual disciplinary process. The body’s disciplinary committee ruled that the “activities undertaken” by 410 KPMG CA ANZ members […]

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Friday Footnotes: EY and KPMG This Week’s Big 4 Lawsuits; Eliminate Accounting Majors?; Auditors Fire Messy Municipal | 4.29.22

New Deloitte report: working women face alarmingly high levels of burnout despite shifting work arrangements, rise in hybrid working [PR Newswire] Widespread burnout and lack of flexible work continues to hinder progress in supporting working women, according to the latest Deloitte report, “Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook” released today. The research reveals that […]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PwC #63 (2022)

The last of the Big 4 to be ranked in the 2022 Fortune BCTWF and the one that took the biggest drop over the last year is the proudest and trustiest firm of them all, PwC. Fortune doesn’t reveal why a particular company fell so many spots in its ranking from one year to the […]

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State of the Accounting Profession 2022 Via the AICPA Trends Report

As I snarkily mentioned last week, the AICPA has finally released its much-anticipated 2021 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits (or Trends, for short) report [PDF here], a behemoth data dump of accounting industry stats first released in 1971 and released every two years since 2009. We’re […]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: EY #52 (2022)

Coming in at No. 52 on the 2022 Fortune BCTWF is the ol’ Black and Yellow. EY has made quite a few head-scratching, unpopular decisions over the last couple of years, but here they are on the BCTWF for the 24th time in the ranking’s 25-year history. While doors will open for someone with experience […]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #41 (2022)

Following one spot behind RSM US in the 2022 Fortune BCTWF is KPMG, the second Big 4 firm in the ranking behind Deloitte at No. 24. It’s not too often that KPMG finishes ahead of PwC in anything, so the House of Klynveld should celebrate this accomplishment while it can. For the most part, people […]

Former EY Consultant Won LinkedIn Today

Remember last week when EY tried to convince all of us that employees prefer empathetic leadership over raises and promotions? LOL, good one EY. Anyway, Brandon Hall, founder and managing partner of Hall CPA in Raleigh, NC, who was a senior consultant with EY earlier in his career, knew the empathy-over-raises social media post from […]

Marcum Leads Public Accounting In Posting Awkward Busy Season Pizza Party Photos on Social Media

Marcum employees are living that public accounting busy season stereotype one slice of pizza at a time. We're in the final stretch of the #taxseason. Our Fort Lauderdale office took a much needed break and gathered for happy hour while enjoying pizza and beer. #marcumeverywhere #funatwork pic.twitter.com/QJx0VBxD2R — Marcum LLP (@MarcumLLP) April 5, 2022 It […]

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #24 (2022)

Today Fortune released its 25th installment of its 100 Best Companies to Work For, a ranking we’ve covered off and on for the past 12 years. And the No. 1 bestest company for 2022, according to Fortune, is Cysco Systems. Congrats to them. In the professional services category, notables include Accenture at No. 6, Protiviti […]

Your Naughty Corporate Controller of the Day

Gerard Beauzile is facing a potentially lengthy stay in federal prison after he was charged with embezzlement earlier today for thinking no one would notice $2.3 million missing from the unnamed New York-based company where he had been the controller since 2001. Beauzile, 61, a resident of South Plainfield, NJ, appeared by videoconference on Monday […]

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Friday Footnotes: Firms Make Progress on Diversity; EY Growth Plan; PIZZA PARTY! | 3.8.22

CPA firms show progress in diversity amid pipeline challenges [Journal of Accountancy] The AICPA finally got around to releasing their 2021 Trends report, which we’ll dissect shortly. In the meantime, here’s a tidbit: The profession’s efforts to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion delivered progress with a rise of almost 5 percentage points (a change from […]

Better Late Than Never: PCAOB Fines Ex-KPMG Vice Chair of Audit Scott Marcello $100,000 In Connection With Inspection Scandal

It only took five years, but Scott Marcello finally received some sort of punishment for what happened in KPMG’s audit practice several years ago as partners were working with PCAOB insiders to illegally receive advanced notice of the PCAOB’s inspection plans for KPMG audits. Marcello, KPMG’s former vice chair of audit, was fined $100,000 today […]

Another Big 4 Executive Bites the Dust In the UK (UPDATE)

[UPDATE/Jason Bramwell] The Telegraph reported this past weekend that Deloitte UK gave its former diversity and inclusion chief, Dimple Agarwal, around £8 million last year after an internal investigation cleared her of bullying staff. Reports began to surface overseas on March 4, 2021, that she had resigned from Deloitte following the bullying accusations against her. […]

Busy Season Problems: Somebody Please Get the IRS a Damn Scanner

We usually reserve this space on Going Concern for our tax preparer friends who have to deal with mostly client-initiated and other unexpected problems on a daily (hourly?) basis during busy season. And we’ll get to them next week as they near the home stretch of the April 15 18 filing deadline. But today I […]

Your Naughty IRS Employee of the Week

That dubious award goes to longtime IRS employee Wayne Garvin, who might be hanging out in Club Fed for as long as five years after pleading guilty to tax evasion on March 22. Garvin, 57, a resident of Columbia, SC, who most recently worked as a supervisory associate advocate with the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service […]

Tweet of the Day: Raises, Inflation, and Will Smith

Having gotten only a 3% raise this year, my wife (and many of you in public and industry accounting) can relate to this tweet: When you get a 5% raise but remember inflation is 7.9% pic.twitter.com/lgGtd96xvq — Not Jerome Powell (@alifarhat79) March 28, 2022 Related articles: PwC Briefcases Look Absolutely Stunning On the Oscars Red […]

SEC and PCAOB Enforcers Took An Extended Smoke Break In 2021

People who work in the enforcement divisions at the SEC and the PCAOB must have been busy doing other things than monitoring the gatekeepers of the capital markets last year, as accounting and auditing enforcement activity decreased and monetary settlements fell sharply, according to a recently released report from Cornerstone Research. The two regulators made […]

Homeless Guy Who Murdered Deloitte Consulting Senior Manager Michelle Go Won’t Be Going to Trial Anytime Soon

According to published reports, psychiatrists at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan determined after a medical evaluation that Martial Simon, the homeless man who killed 40-year-old Deloitte Consulting Senior Manager Michelle Go while she was waiting for a train inside the Times Square subway station on Jan. 9, is mentally unfit to stand trial. Simon, 61, didn’t […]

Here Are the 20 Richest Football Clubs In the World, According to Deloitte

The Walmart of professional services firms just released the latest installment of its Football Money League report, which profiles the financial performance of the highest revenue-generating clubs in the world of football … er, soccer. And here’s why all you hooligans should be interested in this year’s report, according to Deloitte: This year’s edition is […]

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Friday Footnotes: The Salary Problem Catches Up to Firms; Deloitte Changes Its Mind; KPMG Punished (Again) | 3.18.22

Accounting Faces Reckoning After Years of Sluggish Pay Growth [Bloomberg Law] Gasp! Asking for time off? WELL I NEVER! The shift in power toward workers and away from employers has forced businesses to meet demands for more time off, remote work, and flexible schedules—not just wages—said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for staffing firm Robert […]

The SEC Only Gives Out Wrist-Slaps to the Big 4 When They Break Independence Rules On Providing Non-Audit Services to Audit Clients

The big news in the accounting profession yesterday afternoon from Dave Michaels of the Wall Street Journal was that the SEC is investigating the Big 4 and other public accounting firms on whether the consulting and non-audit services they sell to clients is conflicting with their independence as the auditors of said clients. Michaels reported […]

An Accounting Firm Gets Phished: A Play In Two Acts

The other day — OK it was actually 12 days ago — we got a random email in our editor inbox. This is not uncommon, said inbox serves as the garbage disposal into which reader complaints go. Just kidding, we love feedback. Really. The editor inbox is a hub for reader comments, advertising requests, story […]

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Friday Footnotes: PwC’s Turn For a Probe; Accounting Professor Does a Naughty; The IRS is Hiring | 3.11.22

‘Big Four’ Targeted Again in U.K.—PwC Becomes Latest Subject of Investigations [Bloomberg Tax] Paul Brehony of Signature Litigation LLP looks at the growing number of investigations by the U.K. tax authority into historic audit failures by the “Big Four” firms, and discusses the prospects for success of proposed major reforms to the audit regime. The […]

In Non-Russia-Ukraine War News, KPMG UK Screwed Up Another Audit

Let’s take a break from what’s going on right now in Ukraine to tell you something we’ve written a lot about in recent years and that we enjoy writing about: KPMG UK being bad at auditing. While we await KPMG’s punishment for that whole Carillion debacle, the Financial Reporting Council announced on March 8 that […]

For Now, Mazars Seems to Be Staying Put In Russia

You can add Mazars to the list of global accounting firms with offices in both Ukraine and Russia that have denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pledged to support their colleagues in Ukraine—financially and via other means. But unlike PwC, KPMG, EY, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, and BDO, Mazars doesn’t seem to be planning a move […]

BDO Says It Is No Longer Doing Business In Russia and Belarus

The latest top accounting firm to turn its back on Russia and Belarus is No. 5 on your global scorecard, BDO, which said in a statement on Tuesday that “no BDO firm will work with any sanctioned Russian and Belarussian entities including the Russian and Belarussian government, Russian and Belarussian state-owned enterprises and sanctioned individuals […]